Microsoft spends $300 million on campaign to fortify Apple’s ‘Get a Mac’ message

“After sleeping for nearly three years while Apple successfully bashed it every night on network television with the Mac vs. PC ad campaign, Microsoft has sobered up and taken the offensive over the last several months with a series of marketing messages comparing the relative prices of Macs and PCs made by Microsoft’s partners,” Tom Krazit writes for CNET News.

“Perhaps someone at Microsoft should start to wonder what kind of branding message they are implanting in the public mind… In continuing to push this strategy, Microsoft is inadvertently reinforcing every single branding message Apple has ever attached to the Mac,” Krazit writes.

Microsoft’s “Lauren” ad:

Direct link via YouTube here.

Microsoft’s “Giampaolo” ad:

Direct link via YouTube here.

Microsoft’s “Lisa and Jackson” ad:

Direct link via YouTube here.

“Virtually everyone who has ever used a personal computer has used Windows, meaning that almost every single computer user on the planet has developed an association with Windows,” Krazit writes.

MacDailyNews Take: Let’s just cut to the chase. Here’s Mr. Microsoft Apologist himself: Mac OS users have made a conscious technology choice and are therefore typically better informed than their peers.Paul Thurrott, December 06, 2004

Krazit continues, “Apple’s ads position the Mac as not only a superior computing experience to Windows, but a hipper one.”

“Microsoft has essentially conceded that point. As others have noted, Microsoft’s shoppers don’t ever wonder about the relative merits of Finder versus Windows Explorer in its latest series of ads. Instead, they focus completely on trying to make a hardware-to-hardware price comparison between various notebooks,” Krazit writes. “Yet, Microsoft is a software company. And software, not hardware, is where you form a lasting relationship with a computer.”

MacDailyNews Take: Yeah, with Windows, you have a choice of relationships: Stockholm Syndrome, Cognitive Dissonance, or both swirled.

Krazit continues, “With its current ad campaign, Microsoft… is doing nothing to repair the damage done to the Windows brand by the Mac vs. PC campaign… When Windows 7 is ready, Microsoft will have a bit of a dilemma on its hands. It could find it hard to sell Windows as a better experience than Mac…”

“The only thing the PC industry is excited about right now are Netbooks, which they fail to mention are eroding their margins even more than they have already been eroded after decades of price wars. And now Microsoft is once again driving the price message, training consumers to expect ever lower prices from their computer salesperson,” Krazit writes. “Apple, meanwhile, with the best margins in the personal computer industry and two highly profitable consumer electronics products funding its growth, has now had its marketing message of the last two years–Macs are better than PCs–amplified by its rival’s message–PCs are cheaper than Macs.”

Krazit writes, “While the world needs Kias, the world wants BMWs, and anyone old enough to grasp a dollar understands that most times, you get what you pay for. Consumer confidence will one day return, and in taking the ‘Apple Tax’ campaign to new heights (or lows) Microsoft has not only strained the bounds of credulity, it has cemented the idea that Macs are an aspirational product.”

Full article – recommended – here.

MacDailyNews Take: As Mr. Windows Super Duper Site says: Any product that is essentially a copy of something else… there’s something inherently less interesting about them. Because the companies that make them don’t lead, they follow.Paul Thurrott, March 19, 2009

Thanks, Paul. You’re at least as good as Microsoft at driving home Apple’s Mac message. smirk

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